By Wesley ElliottSeptember 27, 2019
By Maj. Adhana McCarthy, Capt. Robert Gipson II, and Lt. Col. Amelia Duran-Stanton
National Physician Assistant Week is celebrated annually from October 6-12. Army PAs have come a long way. Starting as enlisted Soldiers, the first PAs proved themselves through wartime service and received an opportunity unlike any other.
The PA Class 1 graduated 400 PAs in 1973 and began the trend of the military producing more PAs than any other PA program in the nation.
In the multidomain battlespace of air, land, and sea, PAs initially deployed to Vietnam as Warrant Officers and have been supporting the line in every major area of combat since.
Once PAs transitioned to Commissioned Officers, the roles of leading the care in the aid station expanded to assignments at the White House, Human Resources Command, Hospital and Clinic Leadership, and Command Positions.
Now Army PAs are serving in broadening assignments and opportunities executive leadership positions at military treatment facilities, as aide-de-camps, at the RAND Corporation as fellows, and training with industry at the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).
Army PAs prove themselves as versatile, and valuable team members as they bridge the gap between AMEDD and FORSCOM and now, Defense Health Agency and TRADOC MEDCoE.
Out of love for country, Army PAs continue to serve through ever changing roles and countless years of service. These transitions continue through an ever-changing environment from student to teacher, mentee to mentor.
They are battle-proven and battle-tested Soldiers, leaders, master clinicians, and researchers. In the midst of current transitions, there is one thing that will never change, whether on land, in the air, or sea, Army PAs have and always will be "From the Line, For the Line."
2019 Army PA Music Slideshow - Transitions Full Version:
2019 Army PA Music Slideshow - Transitions Short Version: